Photo: Przemek Klos/Shutterstock

The Slow Beauty of Life With an Uneven Five

by Carol Cain Jan 22, 2010
Carol Cain discusses how raising a family has changed the way she views her surroundings.

I love traveling. It’s always been an opportunity for me to discover something new and escape the monotony of every day life at home.
Weekend getaways and spontaneous trips with friends were important and necessary for me to recharge and learn to deal with the not so fascinating aspects of regular life.

This, of course, was before I had children. Lots of them. Three to be exact. A world of one, became a world of two and very quickly after, a family of five.

That’s an uneven enough number to make it difficult to sit on one row together on planes. Just enough to have to pay an “extra person” fee at hotels. Just enough to need to rent the more expensive, bigger car for a road trip. Just enough to have to stay home.

It seemed that my life of new discoveries was over, and I would have to settle for the non-nomadic life of a Mom of an uneven five.

True, I live in New York City, one of the most amazing cities in the world, but I’ve been here long enough and seen it all.

At least that’s what I thought until I started walking around my city with kids in tow. I realize that no simple trip is ever really that simple, and it’s never boring.

Now, I see things in a new light when I take the time to listen to them and see through their eyes. I notice the beauty of the diversity in the people I pass every day on the street. So we find local places where we enjoy that diversity further.

When I see my three all excited by the sounds of music in the subway or the streets — sounds I stopped hearing — I am inspired to introduce them to the endless number places where they can enjoy music.

We discover new places together as well. Wonderful places like The New Victory Theater, and the talented musicians that cater to them without torturing me.

And they continue to inspire me, pointing out the things I have taken for granted for so long or never even noticed myself.

My family, my uneven number five, brings balance to my life and a depth to my surroundings in a way I have never before experienced. By forcing me to slow down, to stop, to notice the wonders around me and to enjoy fully the things I see on the street, in the supermarket and everywhere else,

I realize that every day can be an adventure, right here, and that I don’t have to travel too far away places to find it.

We’ve started traveling more and more as they get older. And it still is something I love to do. But when we aren’t on the road or on a plane, our adventures don’t stop.

The slower pace, brought about by our children, has shown us to appreciate even the simplest of things and make the city our playground.

I never know what new thing we will discover on any given day, making this the best trip ever.

Community Connection

What major changes have you faced when welcoming new additions to the family? How did you adjust?

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